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Cape Town companies forge full steam ahead with climate change initiatives

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The recipients of the second annual Climate Change Leadership Awards (CCLA) were announced at the Sandton Sun Hotel in Johannesburg on March 29, 2011.

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The recipients of the second annual Climate Change Leadership Awards (CCLA) were announced at the Sandton Sun Hotel in Johannesburg on March 29, 2011. These awards serve to recognize inspiring South African companies, individuals, schools, and youth groups that are playing big roles in combatting climate change with green and sustainable initiatives. Those winning awards were from across South Africa, with many Cape Town-based companies receiving accolades and special commendations.

Taking second and third place respectively in the 2011 CCLA Climate Hero Award for Communities and/or Individuals category:

Lyzette September – for her Climate Change Diary; and

Blouberg Eco-Schools Node – for its efforts towards better environmental education and management.

Taking third place in the 2011 CCLA Climate Hero School/Youth Group Award category:

Lentegeur School in Mitchells Plain – for the education of special needs learners, and the implementation of sustainable food gardens and environmental initiatives.

In the private sector, Cape Town-based winners from a variety of categories include:

Agriculture and Food: Backsberg Wine Estate – for their leadership role in climate change adaptation, and the innovative use of the light weight plastic bottle.

Retail: Woolworths – for sourcing sustainable and local food produce, and for energy efficiency in Woolworths green stores.

SME: Rocking the Daisies – for the continuous improvement of green initiatives, and for raising environmental awareness among their party goers.

Financial Services: Santam was a joint winner in this category – for positioning the company to manage climate change risks and threats.

Special mentions in these categories also went to Villiera, Soil and More, and Bartinney for agriculture and food initiatives; Biogreen in the Energy, Mineral, Industrial category; both the CTICC and Medi-Clinic in the Corporate Services category; and Cullinan & Associates in the SME category.

“It’s so great to hear about these initiatives that are being started by South Africans that care about a sustainable future,” said Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold. “We hope to see more entrants – and winners – from the tourism sector next year. Cape Town Tourism has been advocating for quite some time, that the sheer economic value of Cape Town’s natural heritage is driven largely by its importance to tourism, and for this reason it is vital that sustainable practices govern all of our actions going forward, but it is particularly important that the custodians of the tourism industry move towards ever-more sustainable, responsible practices.”

Cape Town is the birthplace of responsible tourism. The Cape Town Declaration is the global foundation for responsible tourism and, in 2008, Cape Town’s key tourism players committed to a Responsible Tourism Charter as the foundation of future tourism development. This charter has been realized with The Responsible Tourism Policy for the City of Cape Town. In addition, Cape Town Tourism is a founding member of Cape Town’s Climate Change Coalition, a partnership created between the City of Cape Town, tourism, business, and education to ensure that Cape Town’s carbon footprint is minimized and that more responsible economic strategies are developed.

Said Du Toit-Helmbold: “Initiatives such as the Climate Change Leadership Awards are absolutely necessary to create recognition for those companies who are putting action behind their commitment to a sustainable future. We applaud all the finalists and winners of the Climate Change Leadership Awards, particularly those doing their thing in the Mother City!”

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.